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'Til There Was You (1997)

It took them twenty years to fall in love at first sight

Rating: 5/10

Running Time: 109 minutes

UK Certificate: 15


Jeanne Tripplehorn stars as Gwen Moss, a writer who has grown up with her mother constantly telling her the romantic story of her courtship and marriage to her father. All her life, she has had coincidental meetings with Nick Dawkan (Dylan McDermott), who has constantly spent his life moving from place to place due to his alcoholic father's inability to keep any job. Both Gwen and Nick are influenced by their past – Gwen seeking the romance she believes her parents have and Nick lacking self-confidence. Through their childhoods, both enjoyed watching the hit sitcom 'One Big Happy Family' in which it is the child called Taffy who makes the most impact.

Years later, it is that child star now grown up into a beautiful but neurotic woman who brings them together. Francesca Lanfield (Sarah Jessica Parker) who played Taffy, grew up on screen, and is now involved in a romance with Nick who works as an architect. She also hires Gwen to ghostwrite her autobiography. To complicate matters, Francesca owns the historic property in which Gwen lives, and intends to redevelop it with Nick as the architect. Gwen and her fellow residents become increasingly active in a campaign to save their architecturally historic homes. Gradually Nick is drawn in to the struggle through Gwen's anonymous letters to the newspapers, not realising who their author is.

This moderately-successful romance has few real flaws but also little to recommend it. The concept is interesting, but the script fails to capitalise on its potential, resulting in a plot that is all too predictable much of the time. The actor's performances are fairly strong and produce well-developed and interesting characters, but they are unable to make much headway when it comes to injecting that interest into the plot. The 'save our homes' story has been done so many times before, as has the romance between two people on either side of a conflict, that it really needs outstanding handling to lift this kind of story above the average.

It's Got: Reasonably well-developed characters.

It Needs: More real romance and a less predictable ending.

DVD Extras Just a trailer with this release. DVD Extras Rating: 1/10


This unremarkable romantic comedy may be a rewarding enough way for fans of the genre to while away a couple of hours but may not seem particularly uplifting to a broader audience.